Ray Hunt called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance, and then a prayer.
Joe Gamaldi read the meeting dedication for Officer Herbert Planer who was killed in the line of Duty in 1965.
Ray introduced Jennifer Bates of Law Enforcement Officers Family Support a non-profit. Jennifer stated that they will be hosting the 1st Annual Battle of the Badges Softball Tournament and referenced flyers with additional information were available on the tables in the hall.
Ray introduced Amber Roberts of the HPFCU who addressed the HPOU membership regarding upcoming changes to HPFCU issued credit cards. She stated that the changes are scheduled to take place on February 6th and are due to a new processing company taken over with better rewards and tech support. All with HPFCU issued credit cards will be getting new cards issued within 3 to 5 business days. Next week a letter will be going out indicating that on February 20th will be the first day to activate the new cards with newly issued numbers and a new supporting website.
PATROL OF THE MONTH / INVESTIGATOR OFFICER OF THE MONTH
Ray advised that because of departmental Super Bowl assignments there would not be a presentation for the patrol/investigator officer this month.
Ray informed all in attendance that the treasurer’s report was on the tables and asked if there were any questions. Ray then advised the membership that if they had any questions to contact Tim Butler and he would assist them.
Ray reminded all that the minutes are posted at HPOU.org
Ray stated that HPOU Scholarship applications are due by February 24th at 4pm with no exceptions. The application for the scholarship are in the Badge and Gun and on the HPOU website.
Ray advised that Harris County DA Kim Ogg has responded quickly to questions that he has forwarded to her office. Ray then referenced some recent reply/responses regarding questions on KUSH, Game Rooms and DWI blood draws and noted there were no significant changes planned in any of the issues of concern that were brought forward.
Ray told the membership that HPOPS trustee votes were in and Mike Newsome was the declared winner in the run-off with Trey Coleman. Ray thanked all the candidates who ran for the HPOPS trustee positions.
Ray stated that State Legislation is in full swing now and that drafted bills are being tweaked and filed as they come out of committees. HPOU is remaining neutral on the Immigration Bill as it follows Federal law. Ray added, that Paul Bettencourt has filed a bill SB151 that could detrimental to the HPOPS pension reform proposal. The bill would require municipal voter approval for the issuance of bond obligations. The COH pension reform proposal requires a billion dollar 30 year bond issuance with 750 million dollars earmarked for HPOPS for previous underfunding by the COH.
Ray stated that the new badge proposal votes were in and that 78% indicated they did not want to change the badge. Chief Acevedo will still decide on any changes/modifications. One change could be that the current badge is made with a better grade material. Chief Acevedo has stated that Houston Police Officers work too hard to obtain the honor of wearing the badge and deserve a quality product.
Ray stated that the department will likely have a smaller command staff, with tow EAC’s and probably between 6 to 8 AC’s instead of the present 10.
Ray stated that the Stars and Stripes Golf Tournament is scheduled this year for Thursday, April 20th at Kingwood Country Club. Ray added that this is a great event to attend, play and show support for our Veterans. For more information see Captain Greg Freeman or Doug Griffith.
Ray stated that the prayer room at HPOU will be opened for all members 24 hours starting Sat Feb 4th at 9pm until the Super Bowl is over. All personnel are encouraged to come by if you have a few minutes.
Ray advised that the IAD process may have some changes coming but that any changes must still meet and comply with the Chapter 143 requirements. Captain Jones who was assigned to HPD Legal has been reassigned to IAD. A civilian attorney has taken the vacant position in legal who had previously work with Chief Acevedo in Austin.
Ray stated that the Chief is looking at plans for coverage in Investigations for all shifts. Chief Acevedo will address the issue after the Super Bowl with the Command Staff.
Ray stated body camera malfunctions especially concerning battery life issues are being look at and that car chargers are not a viable remedy to the low battery life problem. Ray added that 60% of the department is still not activating their camera according to policy so please when you get a call turn them on.
Ray stated that Cigna at “no cost” will supply diabetic and asthma related supplies in addition the hearing aids after policy deductibles are met.
Ray reminded the membership about the Physical Agility test. If you were hired prior to 03-30-11 you can get $800 and hired after 03-30-11 you can get 40 hours of time on the books.
Ray informed the membership that the next station cookout would be February 8th at Central.
Ray reminded all to visit the tables in the lobby for “Houses of Heroes” raffle for George Gomez, Airport Division at a chance to win a AR-15 rifle. Ray added that raffle tickets supporting the Rodeo Calf Scramble Committee are also available for a chance to win a AR-15 rifle.
Ray reminded the membership to utilize the Doctors Council of Texas if there injured in the line of duty. Ray advised this would save a lot of headaches in the future dealing with worker’s compensation.
Ray spoke on the First Responder Peer Support and advised it is still being held on Monday and Thursdays.
Ray reminded to the membership that you can still fill prescriptions at the HEB, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Sam’s or Kelsey but NOT Target. Target and CVS have been removed from the approved locations to get medication filled. Ray also stated members can should use the 3-month mail supply order.
Ray reminded the all present to get and use the HPOU app for smartphones, via both Apple and Google. Ray stated that this is the quickest way for the HPOU to push out notifications to the membership. We are approaching 3000 downloads of the HPOU APP. The board just approved $15 K for tech upgrades/improvements.
Ray then reminded the membership if they were in the market for a home loan or refinancing to use Mickey Keys with Fairway mortgage. With every closed loan, Mickey makes a donation to the Assist the Officer Foundation.
Ray then advised the membership if they needed a Realtor to use Michael Bender who advertises in the Badge and Gun.
Ray advised the membership that HOPA the Peer support group is live 832-200-3499 and that if any Officer was in need of assistance or knew of an Officer who needed help, to please call for assistance. Ray mentioned to the membership that there have been 3 suicides last year.
Ray advised the membership that guns are available for purchase at a discount through Tim Butler.
Ray then told the members to remember to KEEP YOUR FIELD NOTES!
Ray Hunt reminded everyone to restrict his or her HCAD and voter registration information. Spouses may all restrict voter information as well.
HPOU.org – Please update your address and/or email address at the HPOU office or by visiting www.HPOU.org (member tab).
Public Safety Financial Group (PSFG) –Thinking of retiring go see PSFG for a free financial analysis. The analysis is valued at approximately $500 and there is no obligation to join PSFG. Contact PSFG at 832-200-3440 for an appointment.
URGENT CARE vs. ER – Ray advised the membership to use urgent care centers instead of emergency rooms. Urgent care facilities are $65 compared to the ER visit of $400. Because the city is self-insured, the ER visits increase the costs to the COH.
Ray reminded everyone to wear seat belts at all times and to watch your speed.
Sobering Center – Ray asked all members to support and utilize the sobering center. Utilizing the sobering center helps the city and is an easy process for officers.
Facebook/Twitter – Ray Hunt asked members to invite officers to “like” the HPOU Facebook page. Additionally, HPOU is now on Twitter at @hpoutx. The HPOU is working to increase communications to members.
A Law Enforcement documentary trailer was shown to those in attendance that relates to Officers recovering/dealing with work related shootings. Ray stated that the film will be shown Feb 24th from 6:30pm to 9:30pm and HPOU has purchased $1000 dollars of tickets that are available on a first received request bases.
The next meeting will be on March 2nd.
Adam Smith of Midwest had left the department and returned. A motion to except membership was made by Joe Gamaldi and a second from Tom Hayes. The motion passed.
Ray Hunt announced the door prizes 3 sets of Rockets tickets, 2 sets of Rodeo tickets, dinner gift cards to Pappas and Brazilian Steakhouse and a donated pocket knife were given out.
Rhonda Williams made a motion to adjourn the meeting, and Kawanski Nichols seconds the motion. The motion passed by a majority of membership
Minutes prepared by: Cole Lester Assistant Secretary